Summer Festival organizers present project to ministers | THE DAILY HERALD

Oualichi Festival organisers, Ministers Mike Ferrier and Jorien Wuite, and Gus Priest of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau pose with the plan for the event, at the Government Administration Building on Wednesday.

~ Event promised to be a new age festival ~

PHILIPSBURG–Oualichi Festival is planned to be the island’s next summer showdown event aimed to lure thousands of regional party-goers to The Friendly Island July 26-29. Organisers Kalaboom Events and Xtratight Entertainment presented their vision for the event to Ministers Mike Ferrier and Jorien Wuite on Wednesday.

According to organisers “Skelet” of Kalaboom Events and Bertaux “Mr. Rude” Fleming, the four-day event will serve the purpose of a very-much-needed large-scale annual festival for the island. The mission statement for the festival is positioning the event as “THE” number one summer event within the Caribbean region, marketing St. Maarten as a top tourist destination.

The target audience for the event are mature folks and young adults with purchasing power. Special promotions will kick off soon on Anguilla, Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba, St. Kitts, and the French West Indies.

The event will cost US $300,000 to put together and organisers are requesting financial assistance from the Dutch- and French-side governments. The Tourist Bureau on the French side has already committed to the event.

“We want to bring an experience to our destination. St. Maarten has to compete with many islands when it comes to festivals but there is nothing like the St. Maarten experience,” stated Fleming during the presentation at the Government Building in Philipsburg.

“Kalaboom has done a summer festival before. The sub-heading of this new festival is SXM Best Weekend. We decided to team up with Xtratight to bring more flavour to the event and we look forward to getting regional visitors to the island during the low season. For our last festival, we brought 1,400 persons from the French islands to St. Maarten,” stated Kalaboom owner Skelet.

The team also took the opportunity to announce all performers set to headline the big festival. On July 26, there will be an All White Affair at Captain Hodge Wharf from 5:00 to 11:00pm. There will be performances by a jazz band, Gunslingers Steel Band, Guadeloupe Drums and Panam Dancers, and a short calypso show by King Timo, Beau Beau and the Mighty Dow.

On July 27, there will be the Soca vs Dancehall party event in the Festival Village from 7:00pm to 3:00am. International artiste Mr. Vegas will go up against Kerwin Du Bois in a Soca vs Dancehall performance.

On July 28, there will be a Melange concert in Festival Village from 7:00pm to 3:00am. International artistes Kess the Band, Barrington Levy and The Commodores Experience will perform their hits during a one-of-a-kind performance.

On the final day, July 29, there will be a Garden of Eden beach party on Happy Bay Beach. Local bands, singer Jean Marc Ferdinand and Farmer Nappy will be performing for the closing party.

Minister of Finance Mike Ferrier said that collaboration between Skelet and Fleming shows the cooperation between the Dutch and French sides.

“Skelet from Marigot and “Rude” from the Dutch side – I love to see this. We cannot commit right now, but we will certainly discuss how we can help with the promotion and setting up of this festival,” said Ferrier.

Minister Wuite said the festival is a good idea and with the short time span, she hopes government can assist in any way possible in support of the festival.

Promotion for the festival will begin this weekend and residents are urged to monitor local and international media for more information about the event.

Source: The Daily Herald